Money Talks, So Should You

Moms won't ask for money-management help

America's gone from tiger moms to tired moms, a finance survey suggests.

Brian O'Connell
by Brian O'Connell, MainStreet contributor

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Has America gone from tiger moms to tired moms?

It would appear so, according to data from MassMutual’s State Of the American Mom, released this week.

So-called “tiger” moms were all about pushing their families and themselves to maximum performance. But lately, the sluggish U.S. economy, after five years of financial turmoil for U.S. families, have left those moms with an empty tank, tired and frustrated over the money aspects of their lives, MassMutual says.

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The firm points to some eye-opening conclusions from its study:

  • Just 24 percent of moms surveyed are satisfied with their financial situation.
  • 25 percent of moms say they are struggling to make ends meet or are worried about their financial future.
  • Just 32 percent use the services of a financial professional to help them with their investments and/or insurance needs.
  • More than 80 percent of mothers are in the U.S. workforce, even as they raise their kids, run their households and manage the family finances.

 “One of the main takeaways from our survey is that a growing percentage of American mothers lack confidence in their financial planning abilities,” offers Tara Reynolds, a vice president of marketing at MassMutual. “As a result, the anxiety over making a mistake often stands in the way of their financial goals.”

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A big part of the problem is how mom’s view their own roles in their household, and why they don’t seek professional financial help.

“Our earlier research suggests that women are so often cast into the role of caregiver — caring for children, parents, in-laws and spouses — that they put off fundamental financial preparation for the future,” Reynolds says. “It’s important that we help them realize this lack of planning is putting their whole family’s future in question. Speaking with a financial adviser can help the increasing number of moms who are taking responsibility for their family finances to address this confidence gap to create sound financial plans for the long term.”

MassMutual advises beleaguered moms to set up an emergency fund to take some of the pressure off, and to invest in some long-term care insurance to protect your family’s assets.

The firm also says it’s important to sit down with spouses and family members once a month to discuss the household budget and keep track of expenses.

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Above all, don’t try to handle the personal financial workload yourself, MassMutual says.

With Mother’s Day only a month or so away, it’s a good time to sit back, reflect and figure out a household money plan that isn’t balanced, psychologically, on the backs of U.S. moms.

 

Brian O’Connell has 15 years of experience covering business news and trends, particularly in the financial, health care and career management sectors. He has written 14 books and appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, C-Span, Bloomberg, CBS Radio and other media outlets and in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Street.com. He is a former Wall Street bond trader.